The Executive Council of the Faculty Senate
October 4, 2006 - 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Colonnade Hotel - Room E1
Present: Kenneth Schwartz, Milton Adams, Ricardo Padron, Erika James, Gweneth West, Edmund Kitch, Teresa Culver, Lawrence Phillips, Reginald Garrett, Amy Bouton
Kenneth Schwartz, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Schwartz welcomed Gweneth West, Professor of Drama, to the Executive Council. Introductions were made.
Ken Schwartz introduced the first agenda item - a discussion regarding interdisciplinary work. Ed Kitch said interdisciplinary work is one of the features of the Capital Campaign. The Councilors discussed some of the problems associated with interdisciplinary work, such as work load and funding issues. Reginald Garrett, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, remarked that he is concerned about institutional commitment to interdisciplinary work. Resources are needed for funding some of these interdisciplinary initiatives, Mr. Garrett said. It was suggested that the Executive Council form an ad hoc committee to address interests in interdisciplinary work, and issues arising with interdisciplinary work. The Executive Council would then be able to discuss interdisciplinary work and potentially position this for full Senate discussion.
Mr. Schwartz asked for two or three members of the Executive Council who are interested in helping shape this initiative and then bring it to the full Senate. Mr. Schwartz will send a follow-up email to the Executive Council, seeking volunteers to work on interdisciplinary issues. Mr. Schwartz said he will also seek involvement form the Provost's Office to help frame the initiative - such as which peer institutions handle interdisciplinarity well.
Planning and Development Dinner Update
Kenneth Schwartz reported on the development dinners in the absence of Marcia Childress, Chair of the Faculty Senate Planning and Development Committee. The Planning and Development Committee is moving forward and planning events for the year.
The Executive Council/ Ex Officio Members
The Executive Council, prompted by a suggestion from William Kehoe, Chair of the Faculty Senate ROTC Affairs Committee, discussed the possibility of adding all Faculty Senate standing committee chairs as ex officio members of the Executive Council. These committees include the ROTC Affairs Committee, the Faculty Grievance Committee, the Policy Committee, and the Communications Committee.
After discussion, the Executive Council recommended that its membership remain as it stands, with the understanding that committee chairs can be invited into the Executive Council as the needs arise. Mr. Schwartz will contact William Kehoe regarding the decision.
Faculty Senate Spring Meeting Dates
There are several options being considered for Faculty Senate spring meeting dates - and for the nature and content of each meeting. Kenneth Schwartz will circulate these among the committee chairs to see if one option stands out as the best for the purpose of moving Senate issues forward this year, and positioning issues for next year as well.
All of these options assume a January and April Faculty Senate meeting, although the January meeting would yield to a retreat, if it is decided to pursue Option 1.Here are the options:
1. January Retreat - this would be organized around a big issue, perhaps anew one like interdisciplinary work. Mr. Schwartz is soliciting volunteers from among the Executive Council, to organize a first discussion on these topics. This could be the framework for a retreat if there is enough substance and time for preparation to make it worthwhile.
2. March Retreat (after Spring Break) - This would work around the same ideas as above, but allowing for a few more months of preparation. A retreat in March could be structured around interdisciplinary issues or current Senate issues involving Recruitment, Retention, and Welfare.
3. March Meeting of Elected Senators (after Spring Break) - This would be a typical 3-5pm meeting, but without presentations by the administration up front. This could be organized by committee chairs - with committees that have a need for Senate feedback taking the lead.
4. March Topical Meetings - Each committee could organize a one hour to ninety minute meeting and advance notice and materials distributed so that interested Senators could attend meetings of particular interest to them.
Reginald Garrett, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported that the Committee will be addressing textbook issues this year, at the request of the Provost. These issues include the rising cost of textbooks and the need for textbook recommendations to be made available to students earlier than it is currently being done. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act could also be an issue, Mr. Garrett said. The Academic Affairs Committee will also examine ways that might help in getting the textbooks to students earlier, such as electronic transmission of textbooks.
Faculty Senate Meeting
Wednesday, November 29 - 3:00-5:00pm - Harrison Institute, Special Collections Library (Auditorium downstairs)
The meeting adjourned at 1:00pm.
Submitted by Harold J. Burbach, Secretary of the Faculty Senate